Among the hundreds of companies expressing interest in helping to build U.S. President Donald Trump’s southern border wall, one four-member concern stands out: It is from Mexico.
Ecovelocity, based in the central city of Puebla, is betting it can provide cheap industrial LED lights for the project, which has sparked the ire of Mexicans.
Theodore Atalla, Ecovelocity’s owner, is an Egyptian native of Greek heritage who has made Mexico his home for most of the past two decades. He said his firm looked to undercut competition by providing lighting it imports mostly from China.
“It would only be on the Mexican side because I don’t think we would be allowed to work on the other side,” Atalla said in an interview. “They said they only wanted American products.”
Trump has vowed to start work quickly on the barrier along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigrants and drugs from crossing to the north. He has repeatedly said Mexico will pay for it, something the Mexican government has flatly said it will not do.